Menière's disease

"Intratympanic gentamicin is used to control vertigo in 90% of patients who have failed medical treatment".


Ménière's disease is an inner ear disorder that affects balance and hearing. It is mainly characterized by the presence of vertigo.

The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but it is believed that excess fluid within the inner ear canals that control balance and hearing may be a factor.

The Department of Otolaryngology of the Clinic is an expert in the treatment of this type of problem, being a pioneer and one of the most experienced in the treatment of intratympanic gentamicin.

What are the symptoms of Menière's disease?

Ménière's disease usually involves a combination of these symptoms:

  • Dizziness or vertigo, an extreme dizziness that prevents the sufferer from standing or sitting, often with nausea and vomiting.
  • Ringing or noise in the ear (tinnitus).
  • Hearing loss.
  • Sensation of pressure in the ear.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Dizziness or vertigo.
  • Nausea.
  • Noise in the ear.
  • Hearing loss.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a Menière disease

How is Menière disease diagnosed?

In the diagnosis of Menière's disease, otolaryngological examination includes ear, nostrils, nasopharynx, oral cavity and larynx.

The specific exploration of the vestibular system is based on the study of a reflex phenomenon, called nystagmus, which is an eye movement in two phases of different speed, one fast and the other slow, which is justified by the connections that exist in the brain between the vestibular system and the nuclei of the eye movements.

Other diagnostic tests are the caloric test and the rotary accelerations. For this purpose, two state-of-the-art equipment are available, such as video-staging and rotary sinusoidal stimulation. 

Dynamic posturography is a new scanning technique that allows a global evaluation of the equilibrium. 

How is Menière disease treated?

A low-salt diet should be followed first, and fluids should be eliminated, since they accumulate in the inner ear and cause vertigo. When the care of the feeding is not effective, it is necessary to go to the medical treatment.

There are various drugs that are indicated according to the characteristics of the patient, such as diuretics, Betahistine or calcium antagonists and cell protectors against local toxic agents (trimetazidine).

Approximately 70% of patients improve with appropriate medical and dietary treatment. When this is not the case, a treatment with intratympanic gentamicin is performed.

Gentamicin is an antibiotic that is injected through the eardrum, passes into the inner ear and acts on the balance cells.

With this method, vertigo is controlled in 90% of the patients in whom medical treatment has failed; for the rest, a surgical intervention must be performed which, depending on whether or not there is useful hearing, will be a vestibular neurectomy or a labyrinthectomy, respectively.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of Otolaryngology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Department of Otorhinolaryngology of the University of Navarra Clinic is a national and world reference in numerous highly specialized surgical procedures.

We have the latest technology and we perform all diagnostic tests in less than 48 hours in order to offer our patients the best solution in the shortest time possible.

We were one of the first centers in Spain to use robotic surgery in the surgical treatment with the Da Vinci® System. 

Organized in specialized units:

  • Otology - Hearing.
  • Rhinology - Nose.
  • Pharyngology - Throat.
  • Laryngology - Voice.
  • Balance disorders.
  • Head and neck problems.
Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Experts in the treatment of hearing problems.
  • Pioneers in axillary surgery to avoid scarring.
  • National reference center in tissue sealing for tonsil removal.

Our team of professionals